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d*s reader recs [janet needs our help!]


i was immediately drawn to d*s reader janet's house- she was bold enough to paint an entire wall a warm purple cover and i love it. she needs some help with the rest though. here's her dilemma:

"I need some help finding something to hang above my sofa (see pics). I just painted the living room walls this weekend in ombre shades of purple and I really don't know what to do above the sofa.. I'm trying generally to do something both organic and slightly glamourous, if that's possible! (there's a mirrored chest to the side, though you can't see it). I might eventually change the light fixture to something more like a small Murano glass chandelier, to contrast against that big lamp. I think these pretty much embody everything I'm going for. I'd also love to buy original artwork for that space, so if something comes to mind, thanks!!"
so, d*s readers to the rescue- what would you put above janet's sofa? i'm just diggin that purple wall- so springy.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the wall, and original art would be beautiful, but you also don't want to compete with the bold color. (Says me, anyway :) I think I mirror would look great.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something floral/nature themed... definately black and white...
and LARGE.


11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out the artwork at spectrumgallery.org....my work is represented there and there are a couple of artists in addition to me, that may have just the right look for your amazing purple wall.

11:20 AM  
Blogger nadejda said...

Write yor favorite song /poetry on the wall
use big black handwriting font from side to side
it doesn't costs anything ...

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the perfect wall to try those beearo or other wall applications that d*s posted earlier this month...I think they were under wall tatoos.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Erin T said...

Janet, I love your bold purple color choice! It is striking with your dark furniture.
I agree with other readers that something nature-inspired would look great. I think this faux bois mirror, mentioned previously on designsponge, would be fantastic hung horizontally above the couch.

- Erin

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Susan Bradley "outdoor wallpaper" would look nice or another laser cut piece.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out her drawings, they're large and very organic. I think the giant 'wreath' nest-like drawing would be really cool

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Ebay I've occasionally seen large hangings made of driftwood, sometimes with holders for candles; the overall effect is almost like antlers. That would provide the organic look you describe, or on the more traditional front, there's a good sale on framed prints of Motherwell's Africa on the Room & Board clearance section; the print is 48" wide and at $199 is a good deal for framed art of that size.

Finally, there's the fabric wall hangings at http://store.txtlart.com/trflle.html - this link specifically is to images of trees, leaves, flowers and grass. As you can see, I faced a very similar situation myself, hence all the research!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'd like to see a giant version of this - http://www.whatisblik.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=BL-130FL - in white.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about some wall words? www.wallwords.com
Like nadejda said, you can write some fabulous poetry or a line from a song.
Rather than use your own handwriting, you can get a bunch of different fonts from wall words.

Let us know what you decide! We want to see a follow up!

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually thought the first pic had a stenciled flower shape coming out of the ceiling. In the second photo I can clearly see it is a lampshade.

I like the idea of large wall graphics, in white, on the purple. Use organic shapes, like vines or flowers. You can find a picture and blow it up using photoshop or some online services, tape it together, cut your shapes out, and hand-paint it in. It'll take a good portion of a saturday to make it look good, but it will look good.

I'm thinking graphics that look like some of these - the more bold grass and vine like versions:


That's my opinion anyway.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.jaimeursic.com for beautiful, organic artwork. she also has a chandelier etching series that might be an interesting addition.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that light is small and kind of out of place there... it kind of is dwarfed by the dimensions of the sofa and the dark colors. In this area you may opt for a non-"imposing" light fixture which gives good light but stays relatively close (flat) to the ceiling to leave more attention for what's going on on the ground.

With the dark furniture, and the purple which is on the darker side, you really might try a strong colorful painting with a light background to lighten up the space (one large or two or three in a series that make a large image).

A painting like Chris Chun's "La Dolce Vita" http://chrischun.com/art14.htm (all the coloured circles represent gelato flavors) would look **really nice** (in my novice opinion!), just to give an idea of what I mean by colorful with a white base. And then definitely something, like a vase on the side table!

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A large horizontal abstract art or illustration. Or a grouping of two or three smaller.

Absolutely in BLACK AND WHITE.

I painted my living room purple. I have two large black and white surreal-photomontage prints (for examples, see the work of Scott Mutter or Jerry Uelsmann) which look striking and lovely against the purple.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get a "daydream mirror" by Jason Miller or make something similar by painting on a huge mirror yourself.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking you could wrap a large canvas with some nice fabric. Maybe an iridescent dupioni silk, the rawness of the silk might be the organic touch you are looking for and it wouldn't cost much. You could re-use it later for something else when you get tired of it.

I also like the idea of hanging driftwood (someone else's suggestion) with some cables & wire from the ceiling. If you really want to go all-out, you could spraypaint them silver or metallic brown, to look like the viva terra items you like.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the color of the wall and your fantastic furnishings!

What about some black and white nature photographs or a "modern" update of the late-1800s style botanical drawings? I think that, whether you go for high-contrast colors or not, keep the number of colors to a minimum to avoid competing with the wall color itself. I was thinking that maybe three 8x10 sized photos (matted in cream, framed in silver to pick up the vibe of your Mies stool) could work well. I also really liked the original mirror suggestion posted above.

I couldn't tell if you were looking to add a chandelier in addition to the large light or not, but I think that might be a little out of control.

Finally, even though you didn't ask about this, I might suggest moving or replacing the side table next to the couch. It's lovely, but it looks too large for the space, jammed in there next to the couch. The right side of the room ends up looking "heavy" and dark in contrast to the left side which is open and airy.

12:18 PM  
Blogger snarkbait said...

Just wanted to say thanks Grace so much for posting this and thank you all for all the incredible suggestions-- it's like creative brain power on speed!! So awesome. Please keep 'em coming! :)

I was pacing last night in my usual insomniac mode and thinking maybe I'd try two giant white wall brackets carrying a variety of white found objects, à la the April Domino issue...

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of an ornate mirror in this space. Maybe with a floral etching along the border...

On a different note, I LOVE the lamp shade, where did you get it?

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

purple is a very regal color and the couch you have there is slightly modern, so i think you should go for something that's a little glamourous. i'm kind of thinking a beautiful mirror as well. but something that is really wall art more than a mirror. remember miranda's green glass mirror in her apartment on sex and the city? something similar to this: http://ww1.westelm.com/cat/pip.cfm?template=8grid&pkey=cwllart&gids=a020&cid=wllart&area=shp

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might try some modern botanical sketches. Nothing "froofy," but some finely detailed black-and-white prints could look very nice and add some organic movement.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would buy a series of assorted random ornate frames (thrift store baroque) and paint them the wall color (or white)

and leave them empty.

or write words in the blank spots.
or mount odd out of context objects inside, right to the wall...

like a white feather...or all the above.

I just saw an installation like this at a furniture retailer in Hong Kong last week. it looked amazing...


looks like your place!

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To add to the botanical sketch suggestion -- check out the USDA's website on plants, where you can search for and see thousands of b&w sketches, as well as photos --


You could always enlarge one of these, print and frame.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

textile art! bold color -- like red and orange.

i have a few rooms in my house painted a similar purple. it is so soothing and great in sunlight. enjoy!

12:47 PM  
Blogger Abigail A. Percy said...

I would find some fabulous graphic vintage Lucienne Day fabric (try ebay), probably in grey/black tones...and stretch it over a canvas. I have a colour like this behind my bed, and this is my plan for when I fancy a change :)

12:55 PM  
Blogger Melkorka said...

I love the purple, very fun, You could make your a poster out of a photograph, (maybe a close-up of something really colorful, so it’s both organically textural and has the glamorous glossy feel of a photo?) You can use this website to make a poster on your own printer (it blows up the picture and breaks it up into printable pieces:
(I picked up the tip from an entry on the apt therapy apartment contest but I couldn’t find it again.)

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi - i suggest you paint the right side of wall ( the column side facing couch only) the purple. then, whatever that depht measures of that portion, repeat on left side. on both sides, then add slim trim 1/2 "molding in white ot match other molding. this way you have then created an alcove space. strong color should always "wrap" in some way. a flat wall with color looks incomplete.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THAT is so incredibly yummy I can barely stand it.

I would do a series of white frames making a long retangular shape over all inside I would do a lime green image the white frames would separate the colors so they wouldn't reverberate, and the lime green would bring in contrast and a pop to draw your eye to that area.

bravo for purple... so brave

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's something to be referenced in the designs of Amenity linens. You could paint a similar silhouette of plant matter on the wall in white--it would be both modern and organic. And lovely next to the purple.

Here's a link to the linens:

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Lisa's idea. Also, Weego Home has some black and white stretched canvases that might do it for you. For example this one: http://www.weegohome.com/accessories_canvases10.htm

2:11 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

How about a mirror with a natural texutre, silver-leaf frame that has an accent peacock feather on the side.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan Bradley outdoor wallpaper in black!

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purple is a beauty!

If I were to add something I have 2 ideas:

1. Embossed wallpaper with floral pattern and paint it in the same color as the wall. I would only put it on part of the wall for example just the width of the sofa.
Something like item: PW583 on this site: http://www.lelandswallpaper.com/paintwall.htm

2. Do a one color illustration of a chandelier on the wall. Like it's hanging from the ceiling. White or silver would be cool.

Good luck:)

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love using purple as an accent color. i LOOOOOOOVE your wall! i'm kind of boring, so i'd probably put up an black and white photo, but arrange it in a more unique way, like blowing it up and then framing each part of the photo in smaller size frames and put it together again on the wall.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Coloring.

I think you should buy a couple of the large cheap canvases at your local Michaels or Craft Warehouse. Then pant them in a slightly darker purple and then take a stencel of cherry blossoms or other flowers and paint in the regular wall color or a bit lighter on top of it.

This would give texture from the raised portions on the wall and would be a monocrome palate to not distract from the great accent color.

You way also want to stencel on some blossoms as a border on top of the wall and draping down the sides of the accent wall.

If you want more light put a couple can lights pointed up. Get 4 or 5 fairly low powered ones to prevent creating too stark of a shadowing.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you have a very modern place, I would consider having something more traditional over the sofa...I recently bought an oil painting from ebay that would look stunning in that setting ...it's a small painting of a bouquet of hydrangeas in shades of purple, pink & blue

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would change your end table to a small white one. your couch looks cramped. theni would think of purchasing a painting.

7:51 PM  
Blogger whatwhatwhat said...

LOVE the purple!!
There are great wall stickies at Beearo (http://beearo.com/)

DeviantArt has a range of original art for sale (www.deviantart.com)

I founf these two cool site, maybe you can make your own flowers, save them to disk and have them copied and enlarged onto sticky paper at kinkos.

Flower maker (http://www.zefrank.com/flowers/)

Color Scheme generator (so you find coordinating shades for that awesome purple)

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wall IS the painting. Nothing else needed.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The leather couch coupled with a purple wall--very rock and roll. Lace, it has to be lace. Either oversized crochet or macrame in natural color, or a stencil of an oversized doily, made transgressive by blowing it up 10x its normal size.

10:58 PM  
Blogger nadejda said...

P.S The " Nordic " lamp - I see it in a totally white room or with "Scandinavian" wallpapers. with tha curtain is ok.BUT not with this sofa with the purple wall which is neo etnic style I think..
its like eating fish with red wine , you can doit but 'its better whih white wine
just try with another lamp and without the small table

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think any number or design of these would be beautiful over Janet's sofa.


5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A shameless plug for my husband's latest venture:


Click under Galleries >> The Forest. These images are part of a larger ongoing project. Since they're shot medium format--real film!--they enlarge unbelievably; crisp, organic, chaotic, silvery.

Just thought I'd throw it in...I'm a proud wife ; )

12:06 PM  
Blogger holly said...

love the color! i wish i could be that brave! in a space so modern, how about a collection of silver orbs of all different sizes hung with invisible fishing line from the ceiling. could be fun!

12:07 PM  
Blogger peterman said...

my sister's art is currently featured on the home page of www.mocoloco.com SHe uses epoxy polymer on aluminum panels. Check it out...I think it would look great in your place.



12:36 PM  
Blogger babette said...

this artist's work would rock that wall:

3:35 PM  
Blogger mms said...

I have a beautiful, contemporary 5x5 foot oil painting that would look great with that wall color. I know because my wall used to be that color. Please email me for a picture. I am looking to sell. (mms32@case.edu)

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that color. You can't go wrong with a beautiful mirror, even an inexpensive one from Crate and Barrel. Perhaps one with etched glass mirrored border? I think Pottery Barn has a great selection; ditto Crate and Barrel.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something with green in it.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would mount a squarish vase to the wall and put in a big spray of irises.

Or you could hang one of my pieces.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to: http://www.whatisblik.com/sg.html and check out their wall decals. For not that much money you can create your own masterpiece! Click on the PROSE link as well.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my sofa from wiederusa. Extremely comfortable and well made. Customer service was excellent.WIEDER is a surprise - in spite of its minimalist looks it offers excellent comfort, thanks to high quality filling and spring mattresses in the seat. Roomy and comfortable while not taking up too much space. Even more surprising is the ease with which the sofa converts into a double bed.www.wiederusa.com

12:29 PM  
Blogger Shawn Z. Lea said...

Abstract-shaped trees (like those candlesticks you love) are pretty easy to paint - even for someone like me who has no idea what I'm doing. I would buy a big blank canvas and spray paint it a color I wanted to add to the room as a complementary color. (If you're going for organic, maybe a chocolate or limey green.) Then I would paint the trees in a silver metallic color in very thin lines. (And of course buy the candlesticks to place on the table next to it.)

For original artwork, I always shop Self-Representing Artists on eBay first. The work is generally very affordable - and I would much rather spend my money on an original than a print or a reproduction.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this ombre effect and did not have any luck. Can you provide directions on how you accomplished it?

1:48 PM  

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